Happy Summer, Dear Reader!
I hope that you are staying hydrated and giving yourself plenty of time to rest and relax.
I can’t believe it but it has been four years since I started abd2phd by taking my first class at Purdue’s entrepreneurial incubator, The Foundry. It would be several months before wandering into that spacious seminar room with unlimited coffee before I made this website public.
In that time, my classes and mentors at The Foundry helped me clarify my audience, my values, and my mission.
My audience was easy: I wanted to help students like myself. Students who, for whatever reason, didn’t know the unwritten rules of academia. Having made every mistake in the book, I hoped my experience making mistakes and recovering from them could help other students avoid them: particularly women, working-class, and first-generation students.
I also knew that I wanted to market myself to students in the humanities. As a humanities PhD myself, I had spent many insomniac hours looking for dissertation coaching services and I had found plenty. For the sciences.
There didn’t seem to be anything for the humanities and, like the scholar I am at heart, I rushed to fill the gap in the literature . . . I mean, market.
The values I set up for abd2phd have, and will, remain the same: I help PhD students finish well. To me, that means helping them do high-quality work without sacrificing any aspect of their holistic wellness.
My mission was, and remains, to bring high-quality coaching to as many PhD students as possible by creating several resources at different price points whether that be a $1 sticker to remind you that you’re just as good as any Chad at your institution to a $300 coaching session to help you make progress fast.
As part of my mission, I kept my coaching prices very low for the first three years. I was proud to tell people that my rates were 1/10th that of my biggest competitor because I was here for the people.
This year, as I transition to doing this work full-time, I have raised my rates to be more reflective of the market for two reasons.
First, it was pointed out to me that you wouldn’t hire a caterer who charged you $50 to feed 50 people. There is such a thing as a price that is suspiciously low and some potential clients candidly pointed out that they had been hesitant to work with me because my low prices lead them to believe I was either inexperienced or no good. (I’m happy to say that’s not the case!)
Second, raising my prices allows me to make coaching my full-time job meaning that I don’t have to work on creating new products for you after my 9 to 5. Several exciting new products are coming your way over the summer from a planner for PhD students with executive dysfunction (like me!) to an RPG style prospectus workshop to an avalanche of new and updated webinars. It may be summer, y’all, but I’m about to make it rain new products!
Raising coaching prices does mean that fewer high-need grad students will be able to access one-on-one coaching services which doesn’t sit well with me. (Remember those values from, like, a paragraph ago?)
To continue offering coaching insights to as many people as possible I’ll be debuting a podcast in September.
I am so excited, y’all!
I have coordinated interviews with all of my favorite people. Some of them have finished their PhD and got tenure-track jobs while some of them finished and work outside academia. Some of them chose to walk away from their PhD and others chose to come back after a break. All of them are whip-smart, dynamic humans who I’ve learned so much from and I can’t wait to learn even more along with you.
The podcast will have two interviews a month. In between those interviews, I’ll be covering the coaching topics folks most want, and need, to hear about.
Are you excited yet?
I hope so!
So, where will you find this podcast?
Well, you’ll find it here, obviously, and on our socials and, probably, anywhere podcasts are found, but if you want to tell a friend about it? What will it be called?
Get ready, friends, for WTF: PhD–the podcast that answers all the questions you Google at midnight about how to get a PhD.
In fact, and here’s the REALLY BIG news: I’m changing the name of the business from abd2phd to WTF: PhD.
It’s not accurate to call this a rebranding because, other than the name, not much will be changing.
I won’t be changing my beloved pink color scheme because pink can be powerful AF.
I won’t be changing the services I provide.
If anything, this name change is long overdue.
Four years ago I thought that most of my clients would be PhD candidates who felt stuck writing their dissertation. However, my actual clients have come from all parts of the process. While some have needed a coach to help them make progress on their dissertation others have needed help applying to grad school, figuring out how to make coursework work for them, and so much more.
The new name more accurately reflects the breadth of issues I help clients work through. Namely, any part of the PhD process that has you muttering, “WTF,” to yourself.
As I begin this new phase, with a new name, I could not be more excited to have you by my side as we get through the often confusing but equally amazing world of the PhD candidate together.